What are (super) promoters and how can they be recognized? Why should you do so in the first place? The answers can be found in this first blog entry in a series of 7.

This is the first blog in a series of 7 in which we will go into detail about how you can deliver the best service to your customers. With practical examples and tips we will help you to trigger your customer’s enthusiasm and to make, and keep, your company as customer and service oriented as possible. Because with the best service, your customer satisfaction will rocket and you will start generating enthusiastic clients, promoters, and even ‘super promoters’.

What are (super) promoters and how can they be recognized?

Often the focus of companies who measure NPS and want to better their service lies with detractors and solving complaints. The enthusiastic customers and employees, or promoters and ‘super promoters’, are hardly given a second thought. Yet, they promote the company without even being asked to recommend it and thus pass on the good name to others who will follow and subsequently generate sales growth. If you as an organization are able to understand your (super) promoters and are able to hold on to them, you can gain a large competitive advantage.

What is the difference between an promoter and a super promoter?

The term ‘super promoter’ was created by Rijn Vogelaar who wrote the book: ‘The Super promoter – The Power of Enthusiasm’. In his book he explains the difference between a promoter and a super promoter:

  • Promoters are enthusiastic clients that have given the company a high recommendation through metrics such as the NPS, rating the company a 9 or 10 on the recommendation question. However, they are not so likely to actually recommend the company, brand or product within their social network. So they may be enthusiastic, but do not have the power to actually persuade people.
  • Super promoters on the other hand do have the power to persuade others. This is recognizable by the following 3 traits:
    • They are honestly enthusiastic about the company, brand or product.
    • They communicate this enthusiasm with others in their social network.
    • They have an influence within their social network and provide growth.

A super promoter is an enthusiastic person that shares or challenges their enthusiasm and subsequently influences others.

How can you identify your super promoters?

The NPS recommendation question is a good source to identify enthusiastic clients, but the question whether they actually spread this enthusiasm can be answered using the Social Sharing Metric (SSM). Using the Influence Metric (IFM), you can find out whether the customer also has a certain degree of influence within their social network or company. The way these metrics work can be found in the book by Rijn Vogelaar.

Besides these metrics, you can also do research online by searching for customers that actively and spontaneously promote your company through blogs, social media etc. Also don’t dismiss your internal sources such as customer service or interactions between employees and enthusiastic customers. Together these sources provide insight into which clients are truly enthusiastic and fit the profile of super promoter. This doesn’t only have to be customers, super promoters can also be employees, management or even opinion leaders, social media influencers, labor unions or journalists.

Embrace your super promoters!

Now that you know how to recognize your super promoters, it’s time to truly acknowledge them and even embrace them. “As a company you have to be prepared to let go of a large portion of your control and to take the super promoter seriously.”, says Rijn. “Companies often find this scary because the super promoter can also show undesirable behavior.

Example from the Telephone guide (TTG)

A great example of embracing the super promoters can be found in the article ‘Give a shit. That’s how you make impact’ by journalist Janine Sterenborg on the website ‘marketingfacts.nl’. TTG has, within the past couple of years, completely changed from a company with the stance ‘customers need us’, to a company that places its priorities with their customers. Customers used to advertise annually in the Telephone guide without question, but since 2013 they started to question whether doing so was really worth anything to them. TTG went back to its roots to find a solution to this problem and came up with the strategy of ‘making the customer findable and accessible’. And so, they ended up in the digital world, focusing on online accessibility and developing traffic generated websites. TTG was saved from bankruptcy by listening to their enthusiastic customers and laying all initiatives out for them, but also by simulating the enthusiasm of their employees with the super promoter academy (more on this in blog entry #3).

The 20/80 rule

Rijn: “Research shows that only 20% of the Dutch population as personality type are suitable for being super promoters and thus 80% is not. The 20/80 rule also applies here. Focus 80% of your time on the 20% enthusiastic clients, you will then achieve more than focusing 80% of your time on the 80% less enthusiastic clients.” How you can focus more on these super promoters will be discussed in the next blog entry.

Ten steps towards a customer-centric organization

If you would like to read more about delivering the best service to your customers, download our free whitepaper: Ten steps towards a customer-centric organization.

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Ten steps towards a customer centric organization

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